Volunteering Redefined

Volunteering has been given new definition by the National body, Volunteering Australia.

The new definition states that volunteering is any time willingly given for the common good without financial gain.

“This definition is aligned to the current UN position on volunteering that states: ‘When people participate in peaceful activism, for or against animal research or building of a dam, both sides seek what they consider to be beneficial outcomes’. They are included in our definition. Activities involving or inciting violence that harm society and actions not corresponding to the values attributed to volunteerism are not included in our definition,” the explanatory notes said.

With a change of paradigm in 2015 this new definition seems fitting as different types of activism become available to willing participants.

“We know that the role of volunteers has changed drastically; our previous definition did not reflect this,” CEO of Volunteering Australia, Brett Williamson said.

“For volunteer-involving organisations the new definition will assist in workforce planning and bring clarity around what volunteers can do. For volunteers it will allow better support of the work they do.

“Above all things, the new definition will ensure a common understanding of what volunteering is, ultimately supporting the integrity of the work they do.”

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